Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

I seriously cannot believe that 2015 is over. This has been such a roller coaster of a year for me. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to reflect on everything, and that I'm able to be so excited for what the future has in store for me. Today, I wanted to take some time to look back and share some of my 2015 happenings!

Starting at the beginning of the year, I fell into a more comfortable stride with blogging. As I have mentioned before, I had no idea what to expect when I started this little space. And I sure as heck didn't have a vision of what it would look like after I did! I began writing posts that were more personal to me and had the opportunity to work with some lovely brands to do sponsored posts! I was able to shoot a sponsored outfit post and tried a few on my own. If you want to see some of my sponsored posts, you can check them out here

I have some exciting things lined up for 2016 so far and can't wait to share them with y'all. Now for me, blogging is more than just writing reviews in exchange for items. I truly love being able to express myself freely and have found my way into the best communities out there! I didn't realize how much finding the right group of blogging friends would impact my online experience. I feel supported and know that I have an awesome group of witty, kind, and helpful people at my fingertips whenever I need. That's an incredible feeling in my book! For those of you wondering, I've found these lovable bloggers through different groups. Primarily, I have found the most assistance within the Millennial Blogger Network, Show Your Blog Love, and Style Collective communities. I recognize that these are specific to me and my needs, but I highly encourage you to find where you feel supported within the blogging community. It's changed my experience drastically!

I also took a leap and invested in two courses to learn more about blogging: Quit Your Job to Blog and Instagram for Success. At this time, I don't intend to take my blogging past a hobby level- so I had serious hesitation in dropping some cash to learn more about blogging. But I cannot express how happy I am that I did! I'm still working my way through my first course and can honestly say that I've learned enough to up my blogging game already. I can't wait to get further into this course and begin my second one.

Although I still write anonymously- mainly due to the fact that I don't want my blog to pop up through internet search for professional purposes- I feel as though I've still been able to connect on deeper levels with y'all online. I hope to increase that next year and look forward to seeing my current relationships blossom. I've also decided to post more photos of myself and aim to be more open with y'all in the next year.

Lastly, I wanted to share a couple of personal happenings for 2015. (And thank you for sticking around if you're still reading! I know this is a long-winded post.) For those of you who had been reading for a while, you may have heard me talk about my long distance relationship that I was in for the past 5 years. And you may notice that I haven't mentioned it over the past 6 months. Over the summer, things ended. At first, this was so devastating for me that I had to take time away from many facets of my life, including blogging, to take care of myself. And to be honest- I wasn't sure that I would ever find the energy to continue blogging, but healing proved to be a gradual process for me. Thankfully I was able to slowly get back into the swing of things. I am sending my SINCEREST thanks to the sweet girls who noticed my absence online and thought to reach out. That really helped to inspire me to continue writing. Also, in the more recent months I've had a whole lot going on with work. I've taken on new responsibilities and been able to participate in a few programs that have helped me to be more successful at my job. It's kept me busy but has definitely been worth it!! Also on this topic, I have some exciting news to share with y'all, but it deserves a whole post to itself so stay tuned for that next week.

While this blog may not be viewed as successful by some in the community (in terms of social media followings and pageviews), I couldn't have dreamed up a more perfect space of the internet for me. Thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to read, comment, pin, and/or tweet to interact with me! I wholeheartedly love y'all and look forward to growing together in 2016! See you in the new year!

What sticks out most to you about 2015? What are you excited for in 2016?

Monday, December 28, 2015

A 2015 Round Up- My Favorite Posts!

Happy Monday y'all! I hope you had an amazing Christmas and weekend following. Although mine was busy, it was fabulous! My holiday season is filled with tradition. On Christmas Eve, we enjoyed a family dinner before church. We go to an old, tiny Methodist church every year for their evening Christmas Eve service. I've never actually attended any other services at this church but I couldn't picture going anywhere else on the 24th! We have a traditional service that wraps up with candles and 'Silent Night'. That is the epitome of Christmas spirit to me. On Christmas day, we do brunch at my sister's house with my mom and open presents together. This year we made gluten-free cinnamon rolls from scratch. They were DIVINE. I've never made a bread or dough before and it seemed very time intensive. Absolutely worth it, though. After brunch, we cleaned up and head over to my dad's to open presents there. We spend a few hours just as the family, and then my step-mom's family comes over for dinner and the White Elephant gift game. It's always a hoot!

Saturday my sister and I hit up a few after-Christmas sales to spend some stocking cash. I got a new watch and a few Christmas decorations that I'm excited to use next year. More than anything, I enjoyed spending time with my sister and running into family friends. It's always nice to be home.
As 2015 draws to a close, I wanted to gather up some of my favorite posts from the year. I've had some awesome collaborations and put together some posts that I'm really proud of! I truly hope you have enjoyed them as much as I have, and I hope you enjoy them a second time if you've been with me all year.

How to Appear Confident (even when you don't feel it!)
7 Bible Verses to Ease Anxiety
How to Prioritize "Me" Time
My Fall Bucket List
5 Packing Tips for Business Trips
The Leather Jacket
4 things you should try alone
Why I Stopped Taking My Coffee to Go
Current Coffee Table Books
French Toast for One
What I've Learned from Living with Awful Roommates
My 7 Workday Essentials
The Perfect Fringe Cardigan 

I also did my first guest post over on Seashells and Sparkles! I love Rachel's blog, twitter, AND instagram, so I was thrilled to get to work with her. Check out my post here: 3 Tips to Nailing Your Next Interview. Thanks again Rachel!

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a special year-end post! I'm really excited to share a more personal year-end post with y'all. Have a fabulous Monday!


Friday, December 25, 2015

A (Different) Christmas Story

 
Earlier this week, I was one of the crazy people who ventured out to do some last minute shopping before Christmas. This is the EXACT opposite place I prefer to be in during that time of year! I'm a planner, to the extreme, and usually start shopping early so that I can be finished by the time I head home for the holidays. This just makes things easier and allows me to be with my family completely while at home.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, life has been hectic for this little peach as of late. Work is busy, my personal life is crazy, and my family has had a lot going on. The sheer amount of things bouncing around my head at any given point is scary, but my circumstances lately have put things into overdrive! Complaining out of the way, I was less than thrilled to finish up the large amount of shopping I had to do among the masses a mere 3 days before Christmas.

That's definitely another perk of shopping early- there's no mad rush in the stores!! I can't stand crowds and have a low tolerance for people who are rude. It seems like everyone turns into a shopping grinch around the holidays and I just prefer to stay at home away from it all. My final gift that I was purchasing happened to be a Starbucks giftcard and travel mug. Oh boy was I relieved to be finished shopping AND at the mecca of caffeine. It had been a long day of loud chatter, long lines, and complaints constantly swirling around me.

After waiting in the long line, I was grateful when my turn rolled around. I placed my complicated drink order and stepped to the bar to people watch as I waited for my bright red cup of joy to pop up. I'm so glad that I was watching my surroundings, because I saw the sweetest act of selflessness. I witnessed a man buy coffee for the frazzled young mom in front of him who was struggling to find her wallet in her large purse and balance a baby on her hip. It was so small, but seeing the unexpected happiness on her face reminded me what this season is truly about. It's not about buying the perfect gift. It's not about perfect wrapping, or the flawless picture for the card, or staging the perfect Instagram.

It's about giving. It's about showing love to everyone, even the lady delaying your turn to order a your caffeinated beverage in a long line. For me, it's about celebrating the birth of Jesus by mimicking his behavior. I hope that you have a lovely Christmas, and regardless of your beliefs, I hope you find the true meaning of the season and carry that with you even after the lights and trees come down.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

In vs Out December!

I absolutely love linking up with Allison of Because I Said So for her In vs. Out link up! Head over to her site for more posts and be sure to link one of yours up as well! She is keeping it open all week thanks to the Christmas holiday!


IN:
Warm Weather
Last Minute Shopping
Playing Tourist in Your Own City- evidence
Holiday Reunions with Friends and Family
Wrapping Presents- Am I weird?! I totally love wrapping!

OUT:
Sold Out Gifts
Rain
Traffic

Thankfully, I haven't had a ton of "outs" for this month. I've been too busy! Maybe that's an out in itself. I'm going to be reeling things back over the next week-ish to be fully present with my family over the holidays. I'm always a fan of going totally unplugged for the holidays, but I'm not sure that is fully realistic for me this year. So if this is the last time I see you, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

----------------------------

In case you've missed them, here are my favorite posts from December!
10 Ways to De-Stress this Holiday Season
My Coveted Leather Jacket
My Ultimate Christmas Playlist
My Favorite Fringe Cardigan


What's been 'in vs out' for you over the last month?

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Leather Jacket


It's no secret that I was on a serious hunt for a leather jacket earlier this fall. Thankfully, I found one and am excited to be featuring it in today's post! I honestly am not sure what I wore last fall, because I feel as though I've lived in this my whole life! I wear it all the time. Not only does it go with everything in my closet, it adds a nice edge to my typically feminine look.
vegan leather, fall style, leather jacket
vegan leather, fall style, leather jacket
vegan leather, fall style, leather jacket
vegan leather, fall style, leather jacket
While shopping for my jacket, I made the decision to stick with faux (popularly termed vegan) leather. This was easier on my wallet and boasts just the right look I was going for. I found this jacket after WEEKS of searching at the Georgetown Zara store! Few words can describe my excitement over this find better than sheer joy. It really is perfect for what I had in mind!
vegan leather, fall style, leather jacket
vegan leather, fall style, leather jacket
Jacket // Tee // Necklace (similar) // Sunglasses // Jeans // Booties
In this look, I paired my jacket with a bright tee, my favorite long necklace, and my staple Jack Roger booties. If you run into me on the weekends, there's an 80% chance I'm wearing this outfit with a slight variation. Embarrassing, I know. But I can't help myself! It's just so comfortable for the fall. The jacket is roomy enough to wear with my chunky sweaters and keeps me just the right temperature for fall weather up in northern Virginia. And lately, our weather has been so warm I've gotten a few extra weeks out of this baby!

Do you have a favorite jacket? What's your go-to fall look?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

10 Ways to De-Stress This Holiday Season

Happy Wednesday everybody! I hope you're having a wonderful week. I'm officially on my Christmas vacation! Wahoo! Because I live away from my family, I like to save up my vacation and use it around the holidays to ensure that I have plenty of time to spend time with everyone! As much as I'd love to hit up the beach earlier in the year, I never regret having all of my vacation time around the holidays. Even though I'm on vacation, I feel the undue stress of the holiday season. Why do we do that to ourselves? I know that Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time of celebration but I always seem to get caught up in the craziness of it all. I want to refocus, and thought y'all might too, so I wanted to share my favorite 10 ways to de-stress during the holiday season.
10 Ways to De-Stress this Holiday Season

1 Watch your favorite movie. Several popular TV channels do marathons leading up to Christmas and play some of the best holiday movies! I always make sure to watch Elf and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Make an evening of it- pop some popcorn, make some hot cocoa, and snuggle in your favorite blanket to unwind.

2 Listen to festive music. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, cheery music is a quick and easy way to lift my mood. Earlier this week I posted my favorite Christmas songs in a playlist- that's a great place to get started!

3 Bake. If you're like me, taking time to try a new recipe is a great way to relax. I really love baking and have always found it to be a great stress reliever! There are all kinds of yummy holiday recipes out there to try or you could whip up a family favorite!

4 Visit a light display. Where I grew up, there were always neighborhoods who took their Christmas decor to another level as compared to mine. Everyone knew who they were and made a point to drive by to check the displays out every year! You could also check out one of the many drive-through light shows that pop up around the season!

5 Read a holiday devotional. My small group is working through one right now and I think it's the best way to refocus on what the season is about. There are tons of bible reading guides online surrounding the Christmas story or advent-style devotionals that you can find for free!

6 Visit a coffee shop. I find a stop by the coffee shop to be relaxing. You can settle into a comfortable chair with a hot drink and take a deep breath. Not only do I love to get a good cup of coffee, I love to people watch! I've always found this to be relaxing.

7 Find a way to give back. Last year I volunteered at the Capital Area Food Bank close to the holidays, and am so thankful that I did! It was really rewarding to do something charitable in the middle of a time that has become so consumer- and self-focused. You can read all about my experience here. This year, I participated in Operation Christmas Child and it felt amazing. Giving back can mean donating time, or food, or money to those less fortunate that yourself.

8 Reflect. Simply take a moment and reflect on everything that you have to be thankful for this year. In the midst of the hustle and bustle, the best thing you can do to de-stress is to focus on the blessings in your life. It makes everything else feel small!

9 Call a relative or friend to catch up. It can be so rejuvenating to talk with someone you haven't spoken with in a while! I love to call my grandmother or some family friends when I'm feeling stressed. They're a breath of fresh air and help me relax for sure.

10 Take a soothing bath. This is my go-to all year round to de-stress and things are no different around the holidays! I love bath products and always put them to good use during the busy holiday season.


How do you de-stress during the holiday season? What do you do to keep it all together when you're busy?

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Ultimate Christmas Playlist

Hey y'all! I'm back with another Christmas post today. I've wrapped up my gift guides for the season (if you missed them; see here, here, here, and here) and I hope you've enjoyed them. They were fun to compile yet again this year, and I look forward to doing them again next Christmas. Personally, I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping and will be finishing up when I return home for the holidays! Until then, I'm doing everything I can to stay motivated to finish up my year strong at work. The end of the year is super slow, especially in comparison to the busy busy fall months we've just finished, and I am thankful for the break. I've been borderline insane the past few months. I'm happy to recharge and return to normal just in time to enjoy Christmas with my family! One of my favorite ways to unwind this time of year is by listening to Christmas music.
With that being said, I took some time to create my ultimate Christmas playlist to enjoy during my last week of work. These songs range from funny to religious to throwback and represent some of my absolute FAVORITE songs of the season. I love the variety of choices you have with respect to Christmas music. You can go the carol route, the hymnal route, the acoustic route, the pop route, and so many more! While I'm traditionally an indecisive person, I really enjoy all of the options! If you need something to get you through until your time off, or just want to spread some Christmas cheer, this playlist is for you. I hope you enjoy!

I'm not even kidding when I say that I struggle to pick just one favorite Christmas song. I have so many memories tied to so many different songs, it almost doesn't feel fair to pick just one! Thankfully, no one asked. So I won't have to. But if pressed, I would just have to send this whole playlist.

What is your favorite Christmas song? How do you embrace the holiday spirit?

Friday, December 11, 2015

Gift Guide: For Work

Hey y'all! I'm back with my final gift guide for the 2015 holiday season. These have been so much fun for me to put together, and I hope y'all were inspired by them. Have no fear, I'm not done with holiday themed posts for the year- I just feel like this completes my set of gift guides. This guide is designed with the working gal in mind. All of these items are picked specifically to make life easier or prettier while on the job! I hope you enjoy my gift guide for work!

Gift Guide for Her: For Work


Business Card Holder. I actually asked for one of these beauties on my personal Christmas list. Not only is it absolutely adorable, but it's a classy way to carry around your business cards. I love it!

Planner. Rifle Paper Co. is definitely one of my favorite companies right now. They make absolutely beautiful prints and I want to own them all! This planner is gorgeous and would help keep even the busiest girl organized.

Trinket Tray. This is perfect as a catch-all for a chic desk! The black and gold combo is so fashionable this year, and I think a trinket tray is a must have for any functional desk!

Stylus. In the age of technology, this is practically an essential! I love my stylus, it helps keep my touchscreens free of fingerprints. This one comes with an adorable case to make sure that you don't lose it!

To Do List. I am a self-proclaimed list lover and this notepad makes me so happy. I love the design on the bottom! The rectangular shape leaves plenty of room for the lengthy list of any go-getter!

Back-up Charger. Having one of these is seriously the best idea in the world! There's no doubt that any busy working gal will be using her technology while on the go- and nothing is worse than that low battery notification! Not only is this adorable, but it's slim design makes it easy to carry around.

Umbrella. This is an obvious essential for the working gal (sound familiar? I talked about this before here). But make sure it's not drab! This has a gorgeous and colorful print that still maintains a professional look.

Mouse Pad Notebook. Personalized gifts are always thoughtful in my book. I particularly love this because it doubles as a notebook! How many times does a great idea pop into your head while you're at the computer? With this mouse pad, you can jot it down immediately. No more lost bright ideas.

Dry Erase Decal. I think this is a fabulous idea for an at-home or at-work office space! It provides a convenient dry erase surface without putting holes in the wall.

Stationary Set. You never know when you need to send a handwritten note when you're in the business world, so why not have adorable stationary at your fingertips to accomplish the task?! These cards are beautiful and would definitely help get your thoughtful messages across!

Desk Calendar. This is an absolutely beautiful calendar. I love having a desk calendar at my fingertips to help plan meetings and events, and this would be the perfect chic addition to any desk.

Desk Name Plate. Does a Girl Boss desk name plate even require a description? This is hilarious.

File Folders. These would make filing less monotonous for sure! I love the quirky quotes across each of them, and obviously I love pink!


I hope you've enjoyed these guides as much as I have! If you missed any of my earlier guides, check them out here, here, and here! Happiest of holidays, lovely readers!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Perfect Fringe Cardigan

Hey y'all! Happy hump day! The last 1.5 weeks have been a whirlwind for me. There's so much going on in my life right now and I can't wait to share more with y'all whenever things settle down. Today I'm back with my second outfit post and am super excited to be sharing this look. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it all together!

fall style, fringe, fringe cardigan
fringe cardigan, clutch, chevron necklace
chevron necklace, fringe cardigan, fall style
fringe cardigan, fall look, fall style
fringe cardigan, ray ban, fall style
fringe cardigan, fall fashionfall fashion, fringe cardigan, ray bans, chevron necklace
 Cardigan // Tee // Jeans // Necklace (similar) // Clutch (similar) // Sunglasses

I've honestly been living in comfy clothes when I'm not working. I'd be happy bopping around in yoga pants and a tee, but it's even more amazing to look nice while being comfortable. This fringe cardigan is perfect for running around on the weekend, tailgating, or running to class. Not only is it cozy, but it goes with practically anything! Here I've paired it with a bright t-shirt, my favorite jeans, and staple black riding boots. I also wore it with a white top and yellow jeans to tailgate at the GT vs UGA game the weekend after Thanksgiving! The colors were perfect to support my alma mater and keep me warm.

The best thing about this cardigan has got to be the price! It's on sale right now, if you want it- you better get one before it's too late. If you couldn't tell, I had an absolute blast shooting this outfit! I'm hoping to incorporate more frequent outfit posts on the blog. What do y'all think? Is that something you'd like to see?

What is your favorite piece right now? Do you have a weekend wardrobe?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gift Guide: For the Traveler

Happy Monday my friends! I can't believe we are so close to Christmas. Not only am I excited, but I need to get my tail into gear to finish up my shopping! This might be the latest I've waited in YEARS to finish up everything. Major stress for me. Anywho, I'm back with another gift guide. This one is targeted for the traveler in your life and is sure to bring some joy! Whether your recipient is traveling for work or an avid traveler for fun, these are my favorite gifts for the frequent traveler.

Gift Guide: For the Traveler
Ornament. I am always looking for unique souvenirs when I travel, and this is a wonderful way to commemorate a trip! Especially if you took a trip with your friend to somewhere special.

Travel Jewelry Case. This seems like a life-saver. My jewelry always ends up tangled, no matter how hard I try to keep it separated. It's especially frustrating with my dainty necklaces! I love all of the compartments to keep everything organized. One of these has already made its way onto my Christmas list.

Passport Cover. Animal print passport cover. Need I say more?

Packable Rainboots. These seem so convenient. I hate packing bulky items, even if I know I'll need them on my trip. Foldable rainboots are the PERFECT remedy to rainy travel.

Laundry Bags. When I travel, I always struggle with how I'll store my dirty clothes. I want to keep them in my suitcase, but I don't want to soil my clean items. These laundry bags would alleviate my issue for sure!

Toiletry Kit. Kits like these are everywhere, but you can't get any more feminine or adorable than Lilly Pulitzer! I particularly love this print.

Travel Brushes. Packing makeup brushes can be another space killer in your bag. I love that this kit comes with magnetic brush tips that you just switch around with the base so they are still comfortable to use.

Eye Mask. I love these. Especially when I travel (I always have trouble sleeping away from home). You can use it on the plane, or when you're staying at your destination. They take a little getting used to, but make falling asleep so easy.

Duffel. This bag is SO adorable! I love the stripes. I think that it looks roomy, but would still make a nice carry on bag if you're taking a short trip. It's always nice to travel in style!

Travel Shawl. Can you say cozy? Not only does this look dreamy soft, it really is the perfect fix for airplane temperature woes. You can wear it onto the plane- so it doesn't take up room in your luggage- and looks absolutely perfect to cuddle up in to catch some ZZZs on your trip.

Luggage Tag. While I don't have one of these yet, I am always envious of the creative ones I see in the airport. This is a great way to personalize and identify your luggage quickly when it's on the conveyor belt with 15 other identical bags!

What are your gift ideas for the traveler in your life? 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Gift Guide: For the Kitchen

Today, I'm back with the next installment of my holiday gift guides! Check out my previous post here. I've said it before, and I'll say it again- these guides are SO fun to put together! I had a blast rounding up some beautiful ideas for kitchen-related gifts. I'm sure you can think of someone who either loves spending their time in the kitchen, or could use more goodies to encourage them to be there! I think that I may add a few of these finds to my own wishlist! Without further ado, here's my gift guide for the kitchen!

Gift Guide: For the Kitchen

1 Cookbook. I LOVE a good cookbook. Not only is this a pretty book, but the recipes inside sound delicious! It would be gorgeous on display in any kitchen.

2 Candles. Voluspa candles are some of my favorite and this holiday sampler would be great to fake the ambiance of a freshly baked pie or sweet candies. The scents sound decadent and would be great to burn to keep the holiday spirit going!

3 Bottle Opener. This is great for anyone with a bar cart or area of their apartment! I love the long antler handle and think that it's festive for the holiday season but could be used year round. It's so rustic and adorable!

4 Apron. I absolutely adore my apron, and think that these make a fabulous gift! They are perfect for the cook in your life but really are awesome for anyone. No one likes to get messy when in the kitchen but you might as well look cute while you protect your pretty outfits!

5 Cocktail Syrups. These are another great gift for your friend with a bar cart! These syrups are a fun way to treat yourself and try something new. Plenty of drink recipes call for fancy syrups that you never have on hand- but now you can!

6 Marble Tray. Not only is marble a gorgeous trend, this is perfect for entertaining! I could see a great cheese spread on top of here or another great appetizer option. It is so bright and would be lovely for any hostess.

7 Monogrammed Mug. These are everywhere on Pinterest, but I couldn't resist adding it in! I'm a sucker for a nice coffee mug, and Anthropologie is one of my go-to shops for them. The gold is a beautiful and fun touch!

8 Oven Mitts. Festive oven mitts are such a homey touch for any kitchen. I really love the hand-drawn look of the designs on these. Little trees, and gingerbread houses, and snow- oh my!

9 Dish Towel. Yet another Anthro favorite! My favorite dishtowels were gifted from here and I'm not sure that I could love them more. This particular one is gorgeous- I'd never want to get it dirty! But it sure would look pretty hanging on display.

10 Popcorn Maker. I have always loved fresh, old-fashioned popcorn. It seriously tastes better than what you get in the bags! This wouldn't take up too much space and should produce wonderfully tasting popcorn! Having one of these would make movie night that much more special.


What are you gifting your kitchen-loving friends? What's on your kitchen wish list?





Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gift Guide: Relaxation

Hey y'all! Today is an exciting day: the first installment of my holiday gift guides! I really love doing these (you can check out last year's here). Not only is it fun to put together shopping guides to help you find the perfect gift, it helps me curate my OWN wishlist as well as find awesome gifts for my loved ones. This collection is especially great to me. These gifts are geared toward that lady (we all know at least one) who is always on the go and never treats herself to some relaxation time. Below, you can help inspire this lucky lady to treat herself and ultimately relax!

Holiday Gift Guide for Her: Relaxation

1 Spa Gift Card. I've never used Spawish before, but it sounds like an amazing service- especially if your gift recipient is in a different city or state than you are! Basically, you are able to get a gift card to any of the participating spas for any service! The gift of relaxation is hard to give, but a massage might just be the closest thing to giving relaxation in a box!

2 Bath Pillow. An extended soak in the tub can be the perfect remedy after a long day. Having a bath pillow makes the experience that much better! My mom has one similar to this- however hers isn't also a neck massager- and she loves it.

3 Matching Pajama Set. As I've mentioned many times before, I love a good pajama set! They just make you feel so cozy and relaxed. Whenever I get home for the night, I like to change into my pajamas so I can start relaxing immediately. A soft, adorable pajama set will definitely promote relaxation!

4 Tea Gift Set. A delicious cup of tea is another fabulous way to unwind! I love that this set comes with a brew mug (I've always wanted one of these!) as well as a bag of tea to get started. The brew mugs are so neat to me because you don't need a bag for your loose leaf tea. Very environmentally friendly in my opinion!

5 Slippers. These are the perfect addition to your adorable pajama set! They are great for the lady who has hard wood floors- no slipping hazard. A fuzzy pair like these would be amazing to relax in on those chilly winter evenings.

6 Robe. Keeping with my cozy, relaxation theme- this robe looks divine! It would definitely keep you warm, and inspire that cuddly and relaxed mindset we're after.

7 Bath Set. I love a nice, soothing hot bath after a stressful day. The Philosophy brand makes amazing bath products, and a set with a matching scent like this absolutely would inspire relaxation. I love that you can follow up your relaxing bath with lotion of the same scent.

8 Eye Mask. Although I've never tried this particular mask, I just love eye masks! They are great for travel, or just using when you need to force yourself to keep your eyes closed. This would be nice to use while soaking in the tub, or just when you're laying in bed to fall asleep!

9 At-Home Manicure Set. This is too cool. The set comes with absolutely everything you need to have a decadent manicure in the comfort of your own home! You can use it with any of your favorite nail polishes and would be perfect to use alone or at a girl's night! 

10 Candle Set. Burning candles is one of those simple touches that can transform your room or home into a relaxed environment. Especially those with soothing smells- such as lavender or vanilla! Multi-packs like this set are particularly nice because you can sample a few different scents to find your favorite before you commit to a full-sized candle.

11 Fuzzy Socks. I absolutely LOVE these Nap socks. They are so luxuriously soft and keep your feet warm. They are my go-to socks when I'm snuggled up in my pajamas after a busy day. They come in so many different colors, you'll be sure to find a great fit for your gift recipient!

That's it for my Relaxation Gift Guide for Her. More guides will be coming your way soon!

What's your favorite item that inspires relaxation? What will you be getting the girl-on-the-go in your life?




Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

Hi and happy Monday! I know Monday's aren't usually the happiest day of the week, but I'm stoked to be writing this post from Georgia! I decided to take the entire week of Thanksgiving as vacation and really couldn't be happier with my decision. I've been working too hard lately. So, I'm taking this week as a much needed break. Additionally, traveling so far in advance makes it easier for me- especially since I drove home this year!

I just love Thanksgiving (as you could probably guess from this post). I love to help cook, eat all of the different dishes, spend time with my family, and just be home. My family lives north of Atlanta, but I'm hoping to pop into the city to spend time with friends and visit some of my favorite spots! I love walking around Piedmont Park- I think it has one of the best views of the Atlanta skyline. There are also some new things that I need to check out! And of course, I can't forget about grabbing a bite to eat at some of my most missed restaurants. It's going to be awesome!

Packing for Thanksgiving is pretty easy for me, as we do a pretty laid back dinner in my family. We've always done a casual meal and I prefer it this way. I've attended more formal dinners with old boyfriend's families, and it really threw me off! I wanted to share 2 outfit inspirations if you're still on the fence about what to wear for your dinner. One is similar to what I'll be wearing and the other is similar to what I've worn to dressier dinners in the past!

Comfy Casual Thanksgiving Outfit
top // jeans // scarf // earrings // boots
This is the perfect casual Thanksgiving outfit for me! I love to keep things simple, especially when I help with food preparation before dinner!! A simple shirt paired with jeans, matched with my favorite black boots, a colorful scarf, and simple sparkles. It doesn't get much better in my book.

Dressy Thanksgiving Outfit
dress // tights // necklace // heels
As I've mentioned, this is not my norm- but I would totally wear this if the occasion called for it! You want to be warm yet meeting the dress code, so tights are a must! I love pearls and think they really glam up a simple outfit. This spotted dress would be perfect if you're going to a significant other's house- conservative yet pretty!

I hope these inspirations are helpful and that each of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Do you have your outfit picked out already? 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Table Settings + Free Printables

Thanksgiving Table Settings + Free Printables

Hey y'all! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is so soon?! I absolutely love Thanksgiving. Everything from the food to the atmosphere to the company just makes me so happy. Similar to last year, I will be attending Thanksgiving at my sister's house. But that doesn't keep me from obsessing over decor ideas for the holiday! Although it's stressful, I dream of hosting Thanksgiving in my own home one day. These table settings are absolutely GORGEOUS and are wonderful inspirations for my dream dinner some day.
DSC_0655
Photo: Griffanie
Photo: A Homemade Living
Thanksgiving Table Settings + Free Printables
Photo: The Perfect Palette
Rosemary Napkin Rings - 25 Rustic Thanksgiving Table DIYs:
Photo: Spoon Fork Bacon
Thanksgiving Table Settings + Free Printables
Photo: Eleven Gables
 I love a sleek, glam look- but nothing beats a beautiful rustic table in my book. While rounding up these beauties, I came across some lovely FREE Thanksgiving printables around the web that might come in handy for y'all next week. Enjoy!


Have you ever hosted Thanksgiving? What's your favorite part of the holiday?

Friday, November 13, 2015

November Must-Haves

Happy Friday! I am so thankful for the weekend this week. I haven't been able to kick a cold that's been looming over me, and am looking forward to a restful weekend. I have an INSANELY important week next week, so I have no choice but to get better. While I'm an avid believer in waiting to break out Christmas after Thanksgiving has passed, my parents are already asking for a Christmas list! It's gotten me thinking lately, and I have found a few things that I don't think I can wait until Christmas for! Here are my November must-haves:
Fall Must Haves
coat // vest // pajama set // top coat // rollers // blanket scarf
Coat. Last year I bought a great puffer jacket from Gap, but it's shorter. I definitely think that I want a longer warm jacket that isn't a trench coat for work! I love the belted look here- helping you avoid that oh so flattering Michelin Man silhouette.

Vest. I love the soft grey color of this vest! The quilted look is here to stay, and it looks super cozy! I've been on the fence about which color to invest in (grey or navy) since I currently don't own either. Any thoughts??

Pajamas. I'm a sucker for a cute set of pjs! I think that Target has some awesome and affordable options. Both of my flannel long sleeved/pants pj sets are from Target! This grey set looks like it would be heavenly to snuggle up in.

Gel Top Coat. Who doesn't love a nice gel manicure?! Most of my manicures are done at home, and I've yet to try the at-home gel polishes. I love Essie polishes, so I think I'll give their version a try first. Have you used one like this? Any feedback?

Rollers. In the Winter, my hair is prone to static. I like to use hairspray to keep it under control and have always wanted to see what my hair looks like with rollers. Blow drying my hair provides a ton of volume but I flat iron it afterwards- sometimes leaving my roots flat. These might be just what I need!

Blanket Scarf. I am a bad blogger because I STILL don't own one of these. As an avid Georgia Tech fan, I barely own any red. Including red-heavy plaid! I like the look of this tartan pattern and think that I can make an exception now for a cute scarf. Especially one that's perfect for Christmas!

What's on your must-have list for fall? Do you hold back on shopping for yourself before Christmas?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me' Review

It's no secret that I'm a total book worm. I truly love all types of books and feel as though they each have a different time for the spotlight on my reading list. Lately, I've been really into humorous books. After reading Bossypants by Tina Fey (review here), I knew I wanted to try my hand at another celeb-written book. Mindy Kaling definitely did not disappoint!
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me Review
When I purchased this book, I had the most awkward conversation with my cashier at Target. She looked at the book, then gazed up at me, and then looked back at the book before ringing it up. Unassumingly, I asked "Have you heard of this book? It's supposed to be hilarious." She responded "No, but I'm curious how a self help book is funny." I politely told her that it was written by a comedian and that the title was satire, but her judgement had already been cast on me. I do hope she eventually reads the book- and realizes that what it was actually about to avoid more uncomfortable conversations.

Anywho, this book was totally worth the uncomfortable encounter! 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me' is well written and a light read. Mindy is totally candid throughout the book, sharing stories from her childhood and years of early fame. This book was a pleasant outlet for me during a busy time at work and was just full of laughs. The book fell perfectly in line with my humor. I mean, laugh out loud awkwardly in public places funny-to-me. Before reading this book, I didn't know much about Mindy other than the fact that I thought she was funny. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way, but I've officially decided that Mindy and I should be best friends. Life couldn't be boring with a gem like that around you. I'm super excited to jump into her next book ASAP!

I would recommend this book for travel, or as an option to unwind at the end of the day. There isn't a true plot, it's more based around a timeline, so you don't need to feel pressured to start it when you can read all the way through. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

Have you read this book before? What are you currently reading? Any suggestions for what I should read next?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to Prioritize "Me" Time

Let's face it- life can be pretty hectic at times. While I love the hustle and bustle, it tends to exhaust me after a short while. I'm a huge advocate of understanding your own personality and cultivating independence, however I too forget an important aspect of my week/day- carving out "me" time. Especially when things get busy with work!
How to Prioritize "Me" Time
Although it's often overlooked, nothing recharges me and helps me stay on top of my game like a little "me" time. It doesn't need to be anything extravagant, just something that allows me to take a step back and refocus. My favorite "me" time activities are reading, blogging, at-home spa treatments, baking, and sometimes working out. What I find relaxing really depends on where I am in my day, how much time I have, and my current mood. Here are some tips I use to help prioritize "me" time during my work week:

Schedule dedicated time on your calendar/to do list. This is huge for me. I feel as though I live and die by my Outlook calendar, my planner, and my never-ending to do list. Setting aside time (especially if it comes with a reminder) helps me to remember to indulge. It also helps me to feel as though it's productive and something I need to do to complete my day.

Set a specific amount of time to recharge then return to working. During the busy seasons of my job, like right now, I benefit from taking a break mid-afternoon to reset my mind. This helps me to return to finish out my afternoon strong. When I feel like I'm overwhelmed, I'll decide to take the next 10-30 minutes to do a relaxing activity then return to work fresh.

Remember the benefits you will enjoy! When I look forward to something, I'm less likely to forget it. This is also true for "me" time! By meditating or focusing on how relaxed I will feel afterwards, I'm more likely to set aside the time to achieve those benefits.

Set aside your materials in a visible place. If I want to go running after work, I'll be sure to lay out clothes and put my sneakers in an obvious spot. If I want to read during my lunch break, I'll be sure to put my book in my purse. Even if I'm in a different mindset when the actual time rolls around, I'm more likely to do my relaxation activity if I have all my supplies ready for myself!

These are just a few tips, but I've found them to be extremely helpful to prioritize "me" time in the middle of the hectic work week. I hope you find them helpful as well! Looking for a great face mask to pamper yourself? Read some of my reviews here and here. Prefer to read a new book? Check out my recent reviews!

How do you prioritize "me" time during the week? What are your favorite activities that leave you refreshed afterwards?

Friday, October 30, 2015

In vs. Out Link Up

Hey y'all! I can't believe it's already the last Friday of October! This month has absolutely flown by and I'm happy to be celebrating with another In vs Out link up with Allison. In case you missed my last post, Allison does a weekly round up of what's "in" and "out" in her life. I just love it and am so excited to join in! I will again be doing a monthly round up since I do not participate weekly. Here's what's been in and out with me for October!

IN:
My new mixer. Did you see my Instagram photo? I have been dreaming of owning one of these for years and finally took the leap. It's a beautiful white mixer and will fit perfectly in my future all white kitchen one day.

Mattel's new Barbie commercial. Have you seen this? I'm just floored by how adorable this is! I love the little business lady and the teacher! They just say the cutest things.

Seasonal Kettle Corn. One of my friends recently introduced me to candy corn popcorn.. it's exactly what it sounds like. Totally something out of a dream! I love kettle corn as it is, and the drizzled flavor of the candy corn makes it even better! I tried the Book Chicka Pop brand and think you should too!

Visitors. I love hosting people, and had the opportunity to host several people this month. Recently, my sister visited last weekend! I loved spending time with her and showing her around my new home. I'm also hosting a friend this weekend and look forward to running around with her as well!

Blogging Courses. I purchased my first blogging course and couldn't be more excited! It's been going well so far and I really feel like I'm learning a lot of valuable information. Learning is a passion of mine and I'm excited to have invested in myself instead of some more stuff this past month. I'm hoping to get some great results and I hope you enjoy them as well. Interested in trying out the course I'm in? Check out Quit Your Job To Blog here!

OUT:
Rain. Y'all, I'm totally over wet weather. It makes my job really miserable. Although as soon as it starts to snow I'll be missing the rain.. but for now it stinks. I featured my rainy work day essentials yesterday, be sure to check them out!

Spreading myself too thin. I love to be busy and involved, but I also like to give 100% when I put my name on something. Lately, I've been involved in tons of different things and feel as though I'm spread so thin I'm not able to do my best at each individual item. I need to do a better job of assessing my commitments and saying no when needed.

Cold feet. Not the emotional kind.. the literal kind. I haven't quite transitioned over to close-toed shoes during work and keep ending up with freezing toes!

Stomach Aches. I've had a really stressful month and I often manifest stress in my body. I don't think that it's something that I can control, but I get physically ill after I reach a certain stress level. This has meant stomach aches for me lately. I'm OVER it.

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In case you've missed them, here were my favorite posts in the month of October:
7 Bible Verses to Ease Anxiety
2 Podcasts You Need to Listen to
My First Blogiversary!
5 Packing Tips for Business Trips
Great Hair Days with Hask Hair Care


What are your ins and outs for the month? What was your favorite post from October?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Gear to Survive a Rainy Work Day

Hey y'all! I hope you're having a wonderful week so far- we are so close to the weekend! Mine has been great, however we've had wet weather all week. YUCK. For most people, rain stinks- but they go inside for their job all day and only deal with the weather when arriving and leaving. For me, rain is TERRIBLE (almost as bad as snow!) because I of the nature of my job. I'm in and out of the car all day. So, rain is basically my enemy. I've always struggled over what to wear to work on a wet days and have come up with my essential rainy day gear through trial and error over the past few years. I wanted to share these fabulous items with y'all so you too can survive a rainy work day!

Rainy Day Work Gear



Water Proof Trench. I absolutely love my London Fog trench coat. It's the perfect color khaki and has a flattering silhouette. It's great to wear with pants or dresses, and keeps my outfits dry on rainy days. I purchased the coat with a detachable liner that really comes in handy on cold, wet days!

Stylish Rain Boots. A pair of cute rain boots are a must! I love the bow detailing on the back of these, especially in comparison to my plain black pair! I love that these look like riding boots and could be worn in a professional setting.

Umbrella. This is a must- no one likes to wear wet hair to work!

Travel Mug. Rainy days call for an extra cup of coffee or tea to keep you warm. Obviously, this is another opportunity for stylish accessories. I typically use Tervis cups but this Kate Spade mug is adorable!

Scarf. If your rainy day comes with wind or cold temperatures, adding in a scarf will help keep you dry! I think few things are more miserable than we clothing.

Boot Socks. I don't have Hunter boots, but I love how these look! They have an assortment of colors that look absolutely adorable in a rain boot. They definitely keep your feet warm and dry on dreary days!

What are your rainy day essentials?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Great Hair Days with Hask Hair Care

Hey lovelies! I'm super excited to be sharing today's post with y'all. Do you have hair envy like I do for the girls who appear to have perfectly coiffed manes 24/7? As I've shared before, I have thick hair that can be unruly at times. This has lead me on an interesting but tiring journey of finding the perfect hair routine to tame my locks and give me perfect hair days every day. I was given the opportunity to try out the Argan Oil Hair Care line from Hask and think I may have found what I've been searching for! Helllooooo gorgeous hair!
Great Hair days with Hask Hair
This line features a repairing shampoo and conditioner, repairing deep conditioner, and a shine oil (all packaged up in the cutest little bag!). All of the products are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors! The potent ingredient in all of the products is Moroccan Argan oil- which works to repair, strengthen, and moisturize your hair while adding amazing shine. Hask Beauty's products combine high quality ingredients and amazing fragrances with bright packaging to deliver real results. They truly speak for themselves!
Hask Argan Oil Hair Care
I have coarse naturally curly hair and struggle with frizz on a regular basis. Combating these problems usually requires goopy serums and thick creams that leave my hair weighed down and don't always fix my problems. Thankfully, I have found real solutions with Hask. For me, the most miraculous part of this product line is how light and soft my hair feels after use. No heavy products or extra weight to worry about. Which is awesome.
Hask Argan Oil Shine Treatment
Hask Argan Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment
Thus far, I've used the shampoo and conditioner every other day (my hair gets cranky if I wash it every day), the shine oil on my ends every day, and the deep conditioner once a week. They all share a fresh citrus scent that stays with me all day! I just love it and find it extra luxurious while in the shower. Used together, the products provide softness I've rarely experienced and certainly have not found at this price point.

All-in-all, the Hask Argan Oil Hair Care line has been the start of my great hair days lately and I couldn't be happier with my results. If you're interested in prepping your hair for great hair days, check out their website here.

Full Disclosure: I received a complimentary product sample from Hask Beauty to review honestly. As always, all opinions and words are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support A Peachy Sonder!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

5 Packing Tips for Business Trips

Hi hi! Today I wanted to talk to y'all about a small, but important part of my job- business trips. More specifically, I want to talk about packing for one! Week-long business trips are something that I do 2-3 times a year. So pretty rarely. But one of the biggest challenges I've run into is how to pack for the meetings. We usually head out to attraction destinations- I've attended meetings in Las Vegas, Orlando, and Scottsdale. These locations are mainly warm, so packing for the trip can be a little tricky.
business trips, packing tips
Layers are key. For those of you who haven't been to a corporate meeting hosted at a hotel, let me set the scene for you. You are bustling around with hundreds of other people packed into conference rooms chattering all day. You may or may not change rooms depending on your meeting agenda. Hotels see large groups of people and decide to BLAST you with air conditioning, regardless of the temperature outside. I understand that it would be terrible in the rooms without the flow of the air. However, I am cold-natured and this is my worse nightmare. I pack plenty of layers that can be worn in different combinations to keep warm through the meetings.

Bring conservative post-meeting attire. While it's absolutely necessary to let loose after meetings end for the day, executives are also going to be around the hotel. I recommend either wearing your meeting outfit to the evening activities or packing something more comfortable yet still conservative for the evening. At my company meetings, everyone generally hangs around the hotel bars and it is a wonderful time to network. Be comfortable yet still try to look professional! You never know who you might run into!

Travel in style. In my experience with business trips, we are expected to fly in on the morning of our first meeting day. This means that we will be seeing people in the arriving airport to get transported to the hotel and be expected to sit in meetings after lunch. For my first trip, I traveled in the outfit I wanted to wear for the day but planned to shower at the hotel before our meetings. Big mistake. I didn't know that everyone would be completely done up even though they got to the airport at 5AM! Since my first mistake, I shower the night before and wear light make-up for my flight. I will typically wear my glasses on the plane so I can sleep (don't forget your travel pillow!) but fully ready myself in all other aspects! In addition to feeling more put together at the airport, I have enjoyed having the extra time to rest or get settled into my hotel before my meetings instead of frantically getting myself ready upon arrival. 

Create a packing list. This is huge for me. I have always suffered from over-packing when I travel, even when I was a little girl. Due to the clothing that I bring for work and the length of my stay, I need as much room as possible in my suitcase! Writing a packing list (and sticking to it!) helps me ensure that I'm bringing exactly what I need and helps me leave what I don't need at home. I've also found that preparing a list helps me create outfits with pieces that I can mix and match. I think that's truly my trick to packing less! I've also found that if I make my list a few days in advance, it is more reasonable. Without the pressure of a time crunch, I can make a well-thought out list that covers all of my bases.

Bring all of your chargers. While this should be a no-brainer, the last thing you want to do is show up to a company meeting with uncharged technology (especially if you were enjoying some in-flight entertainment). I have a laptop, iPad, and phone for work- so I need to make sure that I have the right chargers! I think that while chargers are important, they are easily forgotten. Make sure you add them onto your packing list!

While these ideas just scratch the surface, I find them to be helpful when planning my trips. I hope they help you pack for your next business trip too!

  
***This post is linked up with Tutu Tuesdays! Check out more great posts here!***

What are your travel secrets? How do you keep from over-packing? Do you have any travel essentials?

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My First Blogiversary!

It completely snuck up on me, but I'm excited to share that today is my little blog's 1st birthday! I can't believe it's been a year since I took the plunge to start blogging. Honestly, I didn't have a vision when I sat down and wrote that first post, but I couldn't be happier with where I am now! I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing brands, interact with inspirational bloggers, have some awesome readers stumble across my blog, and learn so much about all aspects of blogging.

Blogiversary Cupcake


I've been so lucky to connect with so many sweet people and I honestly can't believe that I've had so many kind responses to my posts. Who knew anyone would care about what I have to say?! I set out to have a place to express myself and my thoughts- this blog has been a therapeutic outlet for me and I've really enjoyed writing each post that I've shared so far.

Some of my most popular posts from the last year are:
My Lilly for Target Experience
How to Appear Confident (even when you don't feel it!)
My Fall Bucket List
French Toast for One
How to Save Money in Your Twenties

I'm so excited for what the future of this little blog holds and want to sincerely thank everyone who has had a hand in my experience so far. Cheers to you! xox.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Versatile Blogger Award

It's no secret that I've become friends with the best people possible in the blogging community. I was lucky enough to be nominated by not one but two of my lovely blogging friends, Brittany and Nicole, for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks ladies!
995ce-the-versatile-blogger-award 
This is my first time participating in one of these award posts and I'm excited for y'all to learn a little more about the girl behind the blog! As a blog reader, these types of posts are so interesting to me and I love hearing more about each of you. Here’s how it works:
  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Write seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate fifteen bloggers to pass the award along to.
Here we go!

1. I'm a Georgia girl currently living up in Northern VA.
2. I love salt water taffy, Twizzlers, and Reese's cups.
3. I'm an optimist and always strive to keep my life bursting with positivity.
4. I love cooking and baking.
5. Reality tv is my guilty pleasure.
6. My day job is in medical sales.
7. I'm extra happy anywhere I can curl up with a book and a good cup of coffee.

My Nominees:
Kourtney of Kindly with K
Sarah of Sarah in the Glasses
Alix of The Handicapped Prep
Brooke of LookBrooke
Christina of The Social Butterfly Gal
Allie of Little Random Discoveries
Morgan of Timeless Taste
Tracy of Tracy's Notebook of Style
Emma of Seeking the South
Katelyn of The Simple Southport Pearl
Sabrina Renee of The Golden Speck
Allison of Because I Said So
Kenzie of Sincerely Kenz
Emily of Emily Raine
Ally of Preppy Little Lesbian

These girls all have amazing blogs and I hope you find someone new to love from my list! I can't wait to read your posts.
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